Service

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Here in America, service projects and giving ramps up at the end of the year. Whether it is the good will of the holidays or the tax write off by the end of the year, there are many opportunities to serve our fellow man. As with everything American, we whip ourselves into an exhausting frenzy with wonderful projects. In the past, these many choices have left me exhausted, sometimes sick, and glad the season was over for another year.

Reading my devotions from Mother Teresa,1 a couple of weeks ago, I read October 13th, where she talks about service. Yes, I’m a little behind. I read a few of these short devotions at a time, and then I seem to misplace the book again {shrug}. I’m somewhere in the middle of November right now. {chuckle} Her teaching for October 13 is:

Faith in action is service. We try to be holy because we believe. In most modern rooms you see an electrical light that can be turned on by a switch. But if there is no connection with the main powerhouse, then there can be no light. Faith and prayer are our connection with God, and power of that connection is service.”

My first reaction to the teaching was, “What a lovely analogy.” Until I got the last phrase; “…and power of that connection is service.

My heart squeezed with despair. Over the last several years, I can’t volunteer and help others, in the traditional sense. At one time I was a Lector at church, assisted in baptism classes, helped with food and clothing drives, and was a den leader. I had active roles in activities and charities with my kids, family, church, and workplace. I was in constant motion until the pain became chronic.

Little by little, I had to give up things I loved so I could manage pain and focus on my health. I used to be angry about having to accept the fact that I cannot promise to be available. The fact is, some days I can and some days I cannot. The thing is that I don’t know what I can do until the day dawns. I have to take life ‘one day at a time.’

This is why I ask to Lord to lead my day. While I still have my eyesight, thank you Lord, I do not know what I need for the day. There are days He literally leads me step by step as if I were blind in an unfamiliar place. When the pain is that debilitating I focus on Him, otherwise I cannot find my way.

Disturbed by the pressure I was feeling to serve, I asked the Lord, “Why does this make me uncomfortable?”

Instead of answering my question, the Holy Spirit gently whispered, “You serve with prayer.”

My heart leapt. Is that possible? What about scripture? Is prayer service? Can worshiping and talking to God be service? Who was the one who prayed and fasted in the temple? What was her name? Anna.

36 “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” [Luke 2:36-382]

The impacts of the last two years has all of us praying for our family, friends, countries, and those we read about suffering abuses, deaths, and/or sicknesses. And what about the ones that have no one to pray for them?

I asked again, “what can someone with physical limitations do?” Saying a prayer doesn’t feel like I am doing much. It feels like I am talking to my Lord. Prayer brings me comfort, like talking to an old friend.

He reminded me of Anna, after her widowhood spending her time serving in the temple with prayers and fasting. Prayer is our connection to God. And when we get beyond ourselves it is an action in the spiritual realm. This is service. It takes discipline to pray with faith for what we do not see. I don’t know precisely what Anna prayed for all those years but she was a woman of faith and action. This was what Anna did for God. She was rewarded with being there when Mary and Joseph carried her Messiah into the Temple. I believe He was the answer to some of her prayers.

I’ve lived through times where the only way out was through prayer and faith. I can tell you, He is faithful to provide a way when there was no way. Right now in world in seems like we are at a dead end with the enemies racing in behind us. Our world needs God more than ever.

Because, God handles the impossible. He is the “Powerhouse,” the source of Power. Yes, there are a lot of days when prayer doesn’t seem like much, but prayer sets into motion all the little steps. Then, at the appointed time, God moves the mountain and opens the way of escape.

I learned this week prayer is service. Let’s pray for our families. Listen. Pray for our countries. Ask. Pray for souls. Love. Pray for healing. Faith. Pray for justice. Hope. Pray for truth. Believe. Pray for revival. Knock. Pray for forgiveness. Receive. Serving God in prayer unleashes God’s power. Please pray with me:

God our Father, King of the Universe, Thank you for giving us a direct line of prayer to You. Thank you for providing a way to serve you when we are weak. Our world needs You now more than ever. I know You hear the cries of your people. Bring us Your healing and strength. Turn our leader’s hearts towards You. Thank you for the refuge of your wings, as we turn our faces to You with prayer and fasting. In Jesus’ name amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.

I encourage you to serve God by praying for those who need prayer including, the ones who have no one to pray for them. Prayer brings us to God and God to us. He waits for us to step towards Him. He listens to His beloved. You are His beloved.

Milly

Footnotes:

1Do Something Beautiful for God The Essential Teachings of Mother Teresa, Blue Sparrow © 2020

2King James Version (KJV) by Public Domain

2 thoughts on “Service

    1. Hi Brenda. You are welcome. I am so blessed that the Holy Spirit is still teaching me step by step. It is amazing what I find out I slow down and think. He is so good to us. Blessings Milly.

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